Restaurant Profile: Sake No Hana, Mayfair
Offering modern Japanese cuisine in a luxury Mayfair setting, Sake no Hana—part of the Hakkasan group, purveyors of stylish Asian cuisine—is set in a stunning Grade II listed building in the heart of St. James. The combination of first-rate service, excellent food and elegant design make it a hotspot for London’s wealthy and fashionable elite.
Designed by esteemed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the restaurant’s interiors are awash with linear bamboo and cypress wood. This architecture makes for a chic locale with lashings of Zen. It transports its clientele to a futuristic forest, providing a soft veil to the backdrop of St. James’s Street.
At Sake no Hana, diners can expect to be tempted by a selection of hot and cold appetisers, charcoal grill, toban and kamameshi dishes, all offered in a tantalizing à la carte menu; or sample sushi and sashimi prepared to order at a 13-seat sushi bar. From wagyu sashimi with sea urchin and caviar to slow cooked miso pork belly with roasted onions, this is refined Japanese cooking at its best.
Head chef Hideki Hiwatashi worked for over ten years at the two-starred Kyoto restaurant Kikunoi Roan. While there, under the guidance of chef Yoshihiro Murata, he developed a deep understanding of the traditional multi-course Japanese cuisine kaiseki: now Sake no Hana’s star attraction.
Diners who opt for a traditional kaiseki meal will start with miso soup, followed by small plates such as sushi and tempura before finishing with one of Hideki’s signature main courses. A key principle of kaiseki cuisine is to use the freshest seasonal ingredients.
To drink, there is a good selection of wine, beer, cocktails and an extensive selection of sake, which can be enjoyed in a carafe or as a flight. There is also a healthy choice of Japanese whiskeys, which can be paired with chocolates prepared by the restaurant’s pastry team.
The restaurant also has a wedding licence and is available for exclusive hire for private functions. Christine Parkinson, Hakkasan’s head wine buyer, runs half-day sake master classes, costing £60 per person.
Sake no Hana | 23 St James’s Street, St James’s, London SW1A 1HA